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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday~ Modern Pin Up Hairstyle~ Flat Reverse Rolls

I received a request some time ago to accomplish a look that included reverse rolls, such as these sported by the lovely Lindy Sue. These are a variation of traditional Victory Rolls, in that they tend to lay flatter against the top of the head, thus hiding the opening of the barrel curl from view, at first glance. The hairstyle is what I consider a 'modern pin up' hairstyle. Victory Rolls were rarely seen in this position, during the 1940's, and therefore the placement is a large part of that contemporary look. With brightly colored hair extensions, the hairstyle immediately develops an 'edge'. It is meant for you ladies with bangs. If you don't have bangs, try creating one with a rat. You could also do this w/out bangs but keep in mind that the appearance can be very 'hornlike' without proper placement.

You will need:
Hot Rollers or Curling Iron (1/2 inch barrel)
Vented Brush
Flexible Hold Hair Spray
Strong Hold Hair Spray
Bobby Pins
Colored Extensions if desired

To achieve this look, make sure to start with hair that has been curled by an iron or a hot roller set. Cold sets will provide a more structured curl that tends to become very solidified and 'vintage', upon brushing out. Not necessarily what we're after here. We want to roll all hair downward, so that the curls do not spiral and produce a 'waterfall' effect. Keep your smallest rollers confined to the area that will form the rolls and reserve larger or medium sized rollers for the bottom.

The remaining steps are as follows:
1. Hair was set with a middle part. When curlers are cool, release the hair carefully. Brush thoroughly with a vented brush. Bend at the waist and brush upside down so as to get as much volume from the set as possible. Spray lightly with a flexible hold hairspray.

2.Section off all hair forward of the ear on one side. Tease the back of this section and spray lightly w/ a high hold spray. Carefully twist this into a pin curl facing backwards. It doesn't need to be sleek and perfect. Pin the section with bobby pins aiming towards the floor.

3. Repeat on the other side making sure to keep the height of the rolls symmetrical and the back of the roll as clean as possible. Spray the rolls well with a High Hold Hairspray.

4. Lightly brush the bottom and add more curl or colored extensions if desired. Spray the entire style with your flexible hold spray.

This was my version:

You can also see the full tutorial here, which includes tracks by Laverne Baker:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bride at Nineteen

It was on this day, 15 years ago, that my husband and I tied the knot. I am very happy and have never regretted it once, though we were nineteen years old at the time and have grown up alot since then. Fortunately, we grew up together, and stayed close. We spent a good five years getting used to one another before we opted to have children so I think that also worked in our favor.

My wedding was very 'young'. I can definitely see my youth when I look back on the details. The dress was a 400.00 creation that I designed myself. Incidentally, my entire wedding cost 1500.00 Which is why I cringe when I see girls spend three times that on just the dress, these days. Mine was based partly on a dress I saw in a magazine and partly on Princess Buttercup. The fabric was shantung silk, a very simply cut a-line, with long sleeves that pointed over the tops of the hands. And I had my seamstress create this long bell sleeve to go over the top of it, out of chiffon (feel free to roll your eyes). My veil was LONG and the wreath on my head was SUPPOSED to be a thick circle of ivy, like one of the brides in 'Four Weddings and a Funeral', but that didnt work out. It was a puny thing. I carried a single cala lily (single blossoms were kinda the going thing in the mid-nineties) and I went barefoot. With a frog toe ring. Remember the toe-ring craze of the time? I had a ton of frog and turtle toe rings.

My bridesmaids wore dresses made out of the same pattern as mine, only tea length. The sleeves were also shortened and the dresses were of crepe, with satin braiding at the neckline. My two bridesmaids were paler girls so I had them wear deep forest green. My maid of honor had the same dress in ivory and she carried a gigantic bouquet of cala lilies, which was heartily ruined by an overabundance of 'fern' that the florist opted to add w/out asking me. She looked like a bride herself, which was kind of intentional and based loosely on the processional of 'The Sound of Music'. Can you see how strong a part movies play in my life? The bridesmaids wore shoes, by the way. I remember that they scurried around until a rediculous hour trying to find shoes to match their dresses. I think they ended up resorting to Wal Mart.

My sister in law did the flowers. I remember, in addition to the cala lilies, alot of freesia and pastel roses. Yellows and pinks. Speaking of freesia, scents were a huge part of my life as a teen. I still feel nostalgic when I think of the way Bath N Body Works used to be. When the packaging was earthy and simple. And I WORSHIPPED Crabtree And Evelyn. I remember feeling sheer bliss when I walked into that store and explored the different scents. My wedding fragrance was "Summer Hill". I also loved "Southampton Rose" and the 'Nantucket Briar' fragrance reminds me of my sister in law, who wore it religiously at this point.

The groomsmen wore ascot ties and morning tuxes, with gray pinstriping on the pants. They all looked great and now that I think of it, I guess the wedding was pretty tasteful. At least it's not something I will look back on with embarassment.

The family walked down the aisle to the soundtrack of 'The Piano', I remember, and the bridal party walked to 'Fairytale' by Enya. The guys didnt strut. They waited at the end. Like a good man should. :)

The honeymoon was in Disneyworld...the perfect locale for teen newlyweds. And we couldnt even drink.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Movie Review Monday~ The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

Starring: Jeff Daniels and Mia Farrow
Directed By: Woody Allen

It is hard for me to love any movie of Woody's more than this one. Watching it again only confirms that feeling.

The story starts at the height of the Great Depression. Cecilia (Mia Farrow-in what I feel is her best role) is a waitress in a diner, struggling to make ends meet while supporting an out-of-work husband (Danny Aiello) who treats her badly. Her only escape is frequent trips to the movie theater, where she completely loses herself in the lives of the romantic heroes on screen. After seeing a recent film, 'The Purple Rose of Cairo', and developing a crush on its adventurer-hero, Tom Baxter (played by a handsome, young Jeff Daniels), her trips to the cinema become more and more frequent. During one of her repeated viewings of the movie, Cecilia is shocked to find that Tom seems to NOTICE her watching from the audience. Her shock becomes total amazement when he begins to speak to her from the film and steps off of the screen to talk to her. Over the next few weeks, chaos reigns as the studio attempts to find the actor that plays Tom, Gil Shepherd, and see if he can convince his onscreen creation to get back in the movie! To make things even more complicated, the rest of the onscreen cast has to wait patiently for his return in order to continue the picture and they are getting impatient, casting rude barbs at the remaining audience members and threatening to leave the screen themselves. Incidentally, the remaining cast and their quandary provides the movie's biggest laughs!

The miracle about this movie is the direction, which never fails to be utterly convincing in its 'feel' for 1930's cinema or the bleakness of the Depression era. Woody Allen has created a masterpiece here that succeeds in being a fantasy and a lovely human comedy at the same time. Costumes, scene construction, music, characterizations...all of these combine to become a wonderfully effective piece of fantasy/realism.

The acting is wonderful on all counts as well. Mia Farrow carries the movie, and should undoubtedly had garnered an Oscar for this achievement. Her face is at once naively optimistic and painfully exhausted throughout the film. The final moments of the movie never fail to move me to tears and its the expression in her eyes that accomplish this emotion. Jeff Daniels, like the dual role he portrays, was a relative newcomer at the time and he is likewise impressive as both the happy-go-lucky Tom Baxter and b-movie star, Gil Shepard.

Like most of Allen's movies, the script is marvelous and played with such strength by the entire cast. There are not many films that can succeed in being qualified 'heart-tuggers' and laugh-out-loud funny but this one is does that...and does it effortlessly!

My rating: an easy 10/10

Style Factor: Costume and set designers, Carol Joffe and Jeffrey Kurland, succeeded in making this film both fanciful and bleak. Costumes, as mentioned before, are spot-on. These coupled with the art design of the film really call to mind the desperation of the era and its stark contrast with the glamour of Hollywood. While I do not feel that Allen's 'Radio Days', was quite as successful in the styling department, this one does not miss a beat. Mia's waifish features are played up to perfection beneath her battered cloche hats and those ill fitting dresses were meant to be showcased on her frail stoop shouldered frame.

Style Score: 9

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sponsor Salute~ Miss Hussy and Heartbreaker Fashion

Iam thrilled to have two more great companies as my sponsors. Both Miss Hussy Clothing and Heartbreaker have been favorites of mine for a while and I have several pieces by both stores in my closet. So without further ado:

Miss Hussy Clothing:

As many of you know, I had the honor of modeling in the Miss Hussy fashion show during Viva Las Vegas. I already had two of Hayley's dresses in my wardrobe but while we prepared for the fashion show, I took it upon myself to browse her entire collection and see first hand how well-made the garments really are. In addition to her lovely dresses, she also carries swimwear and separates.

Just click on that little link at the right to visit the store.

Heartbreaker Fashion:

Mother-Daughter team Teresa and Amanda Becker started Heartbreaker Fashion back in 2005 and since then have had to make huge changes in their originally 'home-based' business, to accommodate their growing clientele. Their motto is 'made in California, with love and no regrets.' This is easy to see when you compare the cut and fit of their garments with other companies that specialize in vintage style. Please click the tab at the right to browse their darling dresses and separates...as well as the newly available intimates and swimwear. This Trixie Top is still one of the best fitting items I've purchased.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Pin Up Peek~ Germany's Own Retro Model, "Sari"

This month's 'eye candy' is none other than Miss 'Sari', Germany's very own claim to Pin Up fame! A curvy gal w/ gloriously authentic looks (check out the Theda Bera lips!), Sari has been a proud resident of the Pin Up scene for six years and is still going strong. For more excellent photos and a glimpse at the personal life of this month's gal, see the following video. Also, check out Sari's own youtube channel.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sponsor Salute~ Modcloth and Me

Iam so happy to have Modcloth on board the sponsor boat! I first discovered Modcloth through my 'partner in youtube', Aya of Strawberry Koi Vinage. She wears their items so well that I just HAD to give the site a visit, and I've been a fan ever since. Their pieces range from 20's flair to 80's flash and can be styled to be either modern or retro, as the wearer sees fit.

For those of you new to this company, Modcloth was founded by high school sweethearts Eric and Susan Koger, a couple united in their love for vintage clothing. In addition to offering true vintage items (along with their retro styled pieces), the company makes it a point to be interactive with its customers. There are contests (such as the Diana Camera contest that starts on May 13th) and even a chance for you to 'Be the Buyer' , which provides an opportunity for fans of the site to have a say in what items the store will carry! Even when I am severely short of funds, I enjoy browsing their site and putting together outfits in my head. I especially love the exciting names they give their items, thus giving each garment a personality all its own. Below is a photo of one of my favorite dresses currently on the site, affectionately named 'The Vanilla Bean Dream Dress'. Scrumptious!

Don't forget to check out the site for many other great clothing, swimwear, and accessory options. You can also put in your 'two cents' by keeping in touch w/ this personable company on Facebook, Twitter, and the Modlife Blog. In their own words, 'They want to be the fashion company you're friends with'.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

'How High's the Water, Mama?'

The flooding in Nashville,Tennessee is worth documenting on all types of blogs, including so-called 'Beauty Blogs'. For the first time in my memory, the Cumberland River took over the city and the water rose as high as fifth avenue.

photo by Robert Windel

Our beautiful Opryland Hotel suffered in a way I find hard to comprehend. I've been stomping the grounds of this hotel since my early teens...many of friends honeymooned or got engaged here. The conservatory was a matter of great pride, among Nashvillians, and yet this is what it looks like now.

Thousands of people lost their homes. This is a friend's upstairs view, just before they evacuated.

Fortunately, we live on a hill. Though the creek across the road did rise to unprecedented levels, we had no water damage at our own home.

Here is a picture of our front porch view...this one was taken in early fall of last year. It shows the remains of our neighbor's corn crop. The line of trees in the back is where the creek runs:

And here is a shot of that same view during Sunday's rain. Basically we lived across from a river, for awhile:

That water went down by the next morning and the field is ravaged by water but ready to be re-planted.

Today the weather is beautiful. My tiny community currently has no running water but hopefully will that be rectified soon. And as things are, we're just glad we are better off than so many others. For those who lost everything, my heart goes out to you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Movie Review Monday~ The Lady Eve (1941)


HE LADY EVE (1941)

Preston Sturges comedies are some of my absolute favorites. They were years ahead of their time, reveling in subject matter that was lighthearted and sexy, while at the same time controversial. My favorite of his films is still The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, which I recently reviewed for Vintage Life Magazine (was that some sleezy name-dropping or what?). This film, The Lady Eve, stars Stanwyck as a vampy con-woman out to 'fleece' rich men on a steamship, using her formidable 'card-playing' skills. Henry Fonda plays Charlie Pike, the naive young man she captivates and who promptly wins her genuine affections. Of course there is the inevitable break-up when Fonda realizes that Stanwyck's original intentions were less than honorable. In spite of their feelings, the couple splits up and over the passage of time, truly seem to have forgotten one another. That is, until Charlie is introduced to society lady 'Eve', who is a dead ringer for his lost love! Old feelings are awakened and a twisted love affair ensues, leaving the couple in turmoil and the audience in stitches.

Sturges' dialogue is always witty, always intelligent,and unfailingly entertaining. The romantic and electric first moments between the couple when they meet are some of the best that I've seen from the genre, and truly proved that Fonda could hold his own in lighthearted fare of this kind. Stanwyck is at her best here, in that same off-beat quick tongued style of the day. Her quick witted delivery of those excellent lines are one of the things that made her a tour-de-force of classic American Cinema. I can't wait to see this one again and would certainly recommend not only this film, but Sturges' entire film catalogue.

My rating:

Style Factor: How can you go wrong? Stanwyck had some deady locks to play with and her hairstyles throughout this film are well executed and suitable to her lovely features.
I especially love the way this darling cap sits behind her fluff bangs, lending a casually charming atmosphere to the whole ensemble. Costumes by Edith Head can NEVER be faulted either.

Style Score: